Remembering your first love…


You know, it takes all kinds of inspiration to keep it up in this gig and by “it” I mean your chin from off the ground of defeat.

For some of us it’s our family that starts us out by their wide eyed awe of our strung together words. This helps shape us into the enduring folklore and story tellers from a young age. Yes, some of us have our Mums to pat our heads while still in diapers and tell everyone from the house to Timbuktu that we’re special.

But for others, sometimes those closest can also be the biggest critics. “You’re not that good.” “Art is for slackers and hippies.”

Another possible route to moral support is teachers. I know I had one English teacher whose love of the classics remains instilled in me to this day. He gave me that gift, albeit with sweaty pits, and a bald head that wrinkled with thought, but the zeal he showed for the written word was damned near patriotic. I salute you Mr. Fowler.

Others were turned away from the arts by these same leaders of our youth. I know I’ve mentioned on Facebook a few times a Professor of mine who basically seemed to think that a woman’s destiny was motherhood and to simply support and read the books of better, greater… men.

But we strive on, don’t we? An incorrigible lot, us writers.

And lastly, another push is those intro publications. Ah, yes. *cue fond gaze*

It took me some time, but that first publication stuck with me … and whenever the self-doubt could no longer be mitigated, I always had that first shag to reminisce about, and boy was she a beaut.

And though some of you understand this or soon will, or have decided to write for just yourself, you can imagine that in every Author’s journey there is that golden ticket. That short visit to the Willy Wonka Writer factory where you’re now a published author and forever will be named as so. All hail the Kings and Queens of writing!

I don’t have to tell you how it felt. If you’ve felt it, you already are nodding your head right now.

So what does it feel like to give this huge thumbs up to another? To be on that other end of the table?

Gloriously wonderful.

When I first took my position as Senior Fiction Editor of Oddville Press I had no idea what to expect. I assumed I’d meet some cool people, maybe sound really important but then I’d read my first bought of submissions, cringed through my first rejection, and clapped hands at my first acceptance. I knew right then, that I was part of the full circle. Me.

And a whole hell of a lot of other cool people who felt the same way there in Oddville.

But even better, was when I got that first email back after one acceptance I sent, “This is my first publication! When can I tell my family and friends?”

Now that my folks, was pure and unadulterated joy and I will perpetuate that cycle with frenzied enthusiasm for as long as I live.

Think about it. What if they didn’t have their family backing them up, ever? Teachers? Friends? Or prior publications to keep that train a comin’? What if they were in their dark lab writing genius prose that no one ever told them, “Hey this rocks!” and they gave up and never even knew…

What if their next work is a masterpiece, a gift to the world, and now it will definitely happen because we lit that tiny spark.

And all by the simple note:

“Mr. Submitter,

We are happy to say that your story “First Publication” has been accepted.”

He or she may be the very next great writer of our time… Oh yeah. I like the sound of that.

I just posted this to Facebook and I mean every single word: “Listen to me. Breathe life into your fellow writers. The hammer is ready for each and every one of us as it is.”

Because if you are just waiting to pounce on some poor unsuspecting soul to beat them down about their work GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY!

Some of us are working here 😉

Now tell me, dear reader, fellow writer… do you think you have what it takes? If you think so – submit her right HERE 😉

New or old, inspired or needing that high-five, we are here and we are waiting.

Make sure you read our previous issue to see what we like the most! Volume Two Issue One

Just click on that floating lady and realize that you are in a place where we get you… like the Cheers of magazines, we know your name… no really… we like stalked you and found out 😀


Unfortunately we have to decline your story “Dark and Dreary”… !!!!!My release is out!!!!!

One of my first in depth declinations, I was told that my story was depressing and why would I think they’d want to publish that type of thing in their magazine?

This press is known for dark stories, but I suppose I had gone beyond dark and horror into the realm of sad.

But sad stories need love too!

The truth was I’d received about 20 rejections for “Vile” and a few others after my very first submission “Ever-after” was accepted right away…

Thinking it was all easy street after, euphoric, I told my family and friends, since this was the first piece outside of a competition to be published but then only later to be really REALLY unable to land much of anything else for a long-long while.

Sniff sniff.

Then came “Snowed”, my first story in _UNHINGED_ . I wrote it and posted it in a small hothouse where we all reviewed eachother’s work and submitted. A writer on there, who I respected but who also hadn’t much to say about my stories, read this one and commented along the lines of “I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know what happened!”

Being my first short story over 5000 words and hearing that someone “couldn’t stop reading” I suddenly knew what was more important than denials and lectures about depression, this exactly: People have to not want to stop reading.

SOOOOoooo you are thinking.. I submitted it and got right in?

And you would be right! Jussstt kidding.

I tried thriller since it’s a mix of horror/thriller and they decided thriller didn’t quite fit their magazine but the guy said to me “Hey btw, we all read it here and were on the edge of our seats.”

Again. That’s important. And even then I knew it. I knew that stringing a reader along would be far more important than publications even if I felt like my skin was pealing back a bit at the rawness of it all.

Though it still stung, I packed my baby away and have been editing the story off and on for about five years…until this debut that is ;)D


Readers are most important.

AND SO (drum roll please)

..with the release of my very first self-publication (a very special shout out to the people that helped below) (raises-glass) here is to the readers!

May we put them on the edge of their seats forever!


A very special thanks to a few people who helped make this possible!

Mike Coombes for helping me get started on my shorts and believing in me back in our hothouse days where I wrote most of these!

Alianne Donnelly for the cover and moral support of yet another side project!

Kimberly Grenfell for some super ninja edits!

J Matthew McKern for ARC and my first five stars!

And Jim Adams for a review I will NEVER forget that kicked me off with inspiration and a goal to make the next one even better!

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